Archive for May 7th, 2005

America Economia

May 7, 2005

From America Economia as pointed out by a reader, the drawing accompanies an article about Mercal:


A short but impacting note from a reader

May 7, 2005

A reader
writes from abroad:

I went to the Offshore Technology conference
(OTC) and I felt ashamed for the stand of PPTSA (The new PDVSA derogatory nickname).
It was the only one that had a music group playing (because of the noise of the
group, it would have been impossible to talk business, even if you had been
interested) and there was a racing car whose sponsor was CITGO, a company that
is not too relevant for the audience of the OTC. Pretty girls and a group of
unknown officials completed a scene that looked thirdwordly and from an era we thought
we had overcome.”

“I work
with heavy crudes, where I am in touch with former PDVSA  people working for companies in Mexico, Canada
and the US.
What most of these companies lack to close the cycle is to buy CITGO and destroy
the 25 years of market integration that PDVSA had accomplished.”

Venezuela: An upside down world

May 7, 2005

Sort of
depressing to read today’s paper, I guess this weekend the days are reversed,
since tomorrow is mother’s day, I will take it easy today and join the
festivities tomorrow, which is the reverse order from what I usually do. Thus,
I read the newspapers with extra care and end frustrated by this sort of upside
down world that my country has turned into.

–First we
have the Minister of Oil, the same one that contradicted Chavze twice this week
holding a press conference, contradicting everything he himself has been saying
foe the last year and a half or so. He once again charges that there is some
sort of mediatic plot against PDVSA, but all of the news has started with the
Government, so I think the whole thing was made up to talk about this new
sabotage that apparently is being done by Chavistas after the political
cleansing of PDVSA in the last two years. He once again reiterated all of the incongruence,
including that 12,000 people were not fired, their contracts expired. Goebbels would
have been proud of him.

–Then I
read about Governor Manuitt of Guarico state. This is one of those confusing cases of the Vth. Republic.
Manuitt, a Governor from the Patria para Todos (PPT) party, part of Chavez
coalition, has been accused of rampant corruption as well as murders. The
National Assembly started investigating him. Then on Thursday, his party
publishes an insert in the paper that accuses Chavista Deputies of been
criminal under salary of the cocaine drug lords. MVR’s Ameliach challenges
to say whether the party backed the insert or not. If they did, he
claims, then MVR will have to reevaluate the participation of PPT in the Government.
PPT says yes they back every word and they paid for it.

Chavez’ “anticorruption commissioner” in Manuitt’s state calls (El Nacional,
page A-2) for Chavze to intervene the state and its comptroller, calling Manuitt’s
administration the most corrupt and incapable one in the state’s history.

solution: Chavez will meet with Manuitt to resolve the issue! Talk about improprieties,
the President of a country meeting someone who has been accused of corruption
and even murder by his own party to resolve the issue. Yeah! Tell me there is
Justice in Venezuela.
After that, you can tell me about Unicorns too.

–Since Primero
Justicia has been the subject of discussion in the comments recently, I can’t
fail to mention that the Prosecutor, the same one that fails to charge anyone
for missing billions of dollars or does nothing when Chavez says he has
diverted dollars from PDVSA for social programs, without explaining how he
exchanged the dollars without going through the Central Bank, is
Chacao Mayor Leopoldo Lopez and five councilmen from that party
for diversion of funds.

In 2002,
the Government increased salaries nationwide; the Chacao Mayor obviously did
not have the funds in the 2002 budget since the increase was declared on May 1st.
There was a deficit to pay the salaries. With the approval of the municipal
comptroller and the city council he used funds from savings and the 10% from
local taxes that is supposed to be given to the Metropolitan Mayor, to cover the
insufficiencies and pay salaries. This is what he is being charged for. If
found guilty, he will be unable to hold office. As he says, if he committed a
crime, all Mayors are also guilty, but curiously he is the only one charged. This
accusation is for less than a million dollars, the PDVSA “deficiency” is for US$
4.9 billion, these revolutionaries have their priorities straight!

Marianella Salazar was charged
with slander
in another one of those speedy and efficient actions by the
Prosecutor’s office. The reporter published an article saying the
Vice-President and the current Governor of Miranda state benefited from a
Government deal. Salazar says at the time neither wanted to comment on the accusations
and neither of them used their right to retort the charges. Salazar is one of
the four female reporters who are well known for their anti-Chavez stance,
three of them (Poleo, Salazar and Pacheco) have been charged by the Prosecutor
for various reasons, Poleo three times, Salazar twice and Pacheco twice. Pacheco
was found guilty in one case and is appealing. Another case for those that
claim there is freedom of expression in Venezuela. Meanwhile murder cases
are not even been investigated.

perhaps the most cynical case was that of CNE President Jorge Rodriguez talking
about the CNE approving
a project
for the protection of signatures. He now wants to protect the
rights of those that sign in recall petition by approving this law that would
prohibit these abuses. I still remember when Rodriguez was a member of the
Board of the CNE and approved that the signatures were public, how he staunchly
defended this, while the opposition warned that what ended up happening may
happen. He dismissed the possibility with total irresponsibility.